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How To Consume Foods To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

YOUR risk of heart disease can be lowered by adopting a healthy lifestyle, and there are certain foods to consider avoiding or cutting down on. There are also some foods that are good for you, and a healthy diet should consist of large amounts of them.

There are around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Currently, the BHF says that healthcare costs relating to heart and circulatory diseases are estimated at £9 billion each year. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk.

The charity suggests that with an ageing and growing population and improved survival rates from heart and circulatory events, we could see these numbers rise still further.

Heart disease includes conditions that narrow or block blood vessels (coronary heart disease).

This can lead to a heart attack, angina and some strokes. Heart disease also covers conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or cause abnormal rhythms.

The Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia (DHSGAA) has explained how to reduce your risk of heart disease with healthy eating.

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These include increasing the amount and variety of plant foods, which means eating more vegetables, fruits and wholegrain cereals.

The DHSGAA explains: “Heart disease results from the narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with blood through a process known as atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits (or plaque) gradually build up on the inside of the artery walls, narrowing the space in which blood can flow to the heart.”

Indeed, the BHF states: “A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.”

It notes that too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

It adds: “Eating too much salt can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.”

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Moreover, if you drink alcohol, the BHF says it is important to keep within the recommended guidelines – whether you drink every day, once or twice a week or just occasionally.

The NHS says: “To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.

“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat.”

Indeed, the British Dietetic Association has outlined “a few small changes to your diet” which it says “can make a big difference to your cholesterol level.

It says: “To help lower your cholesterol you don’t need to avoid fats altogether. You should cut down on foods high in saturated fat and replace them with food high in unsaturated.

The DHSGAA says: “Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.

It says that ideally a healthy plate would include servings of one quarter protein, one quarter carbohydrates and half vegetables.

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The BHF says: Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to people who have never smoked.

Nonetheless, the charity says it is never too late to benefit from stopping smoking.

“On average, men will add 10 years to their life if they quit by the age of 30. Many people will add three years to their life if they quit by the age of 60.

If you currently eat more than 90g (cooked weight) of red or processed meat a day, the Department of Health and Social Care advises that you cut down to 70g.

The NHS states: “The most common symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD) are chest pain (angina) and breathlessness. But some people may not have any symptoms before they’re diagnosed

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